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klang

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The Lost Symbol was the third book in the series. If you liked it, you might also like The da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. I personally did not like Inferno, but that is also a Robert Langdon story.
I did watch both recently on Peacock. I prefer Tom Hanks in the role but I suppose he is too old now. Inferno isn't on Peacock for some reason, I may rent it from Amazon eventually.
 
Bruce

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I did watch both recently on Peacock. I prefer Tom Hanks in the role but I suppose he is too old now. Inferno isn't on Peacock for some reason, I may rent it from Amazon eventually.
The movies were produced by Sony, that means Universal/NBC/Comcast has to get the rights to show it on Peacock.
 
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I did watch both recently on Peacock. I prefer Tom Hanks in the role but I suppose he is too old now. Inferno isn't on Peacock for some reason, I may rent it from Amazon eventually.
If you watch Inferno don't ever read the book. They change the ending for some reason.
 
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ncted

ncted

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If you watch Inferno don't ever read the book. They change the ending for some reason.
Pretty sure the studio or the director found the actual stakes weren't high enough in the book at the end of the day.
 
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NashGuy

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I really wonder what Comcast is going to end up doing with Peacock. Let's face it, Peacock was late to the SVOD party and is struggling in last place, behind Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max/Disco+, and even Paramount+. (They may well be behind Apple TV+ too, given that it operates globally, but that doesn't really matter, as Apple has the cash to grow Apple TV+ into a winner and they're gonna do it.)

Comcast is facing a scenario that, to me, looks reminiscent of what AT&T was facing a couple years ago. Comcast's core business is, obviously, broadband. It's not cable TV or direct-to-consumer streaming (Peacock) or their movie/TV production studio (Universal). But they're facing a growing threat right now and over the next several years from the rise of fixed wireless home internet (from the likes of Verizon and T-Mobile) as well as the increasing availability of superior fiber service (from AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, and various smaller players getting infrastructure funding from the federal gov't.). See here:


So on the one hand, Comcast is looking at decreased revenue growth in broadband plus the need to defend their turf by expanding their network on the edges with fiber while massively upgrading most of their cable network with DOCSIS 4.0, which will allow them to offer symmetrical gigabit+ speeds that can compete with fiber. Decreased revenue growth combined with increased costs is, uh, a challenging combination.

On the other hand, Comcast is looking at a decline in the cable TV industry as cord-cutting continues apace, which hurts expected revenues for the channels they own in their NBCUniversal unit, e.g. NBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, etc. And meanwhile, if they want Peacock to survive and scale up to be a profitable global SVOD, they're going to have to invest a LOT more money in it. It needs more and better content and marketing, while keeping the price down to be more attractive than all the bigger players that are out ahead of them. In other words, Peacock will have to be a big money-loser for the next several years.

The most obvious option, I continue to believe, would be for Comcast to approach Paramount and strike a deal to spin off NBCU, including all its studios, channels and Peacock, so that it can merge with the entirety of Paramount. The resulting "Universal Paramount" company would obviously then have to sell off either NBC or CBS as the federal gov't wouldn't allow them to own both. No big deal, Warner Bros. Discovery would probably be happy to buy either.

But if Comcast doesn't go that route, I think what they'll be forced to do is just tap out of the global SVOD race, admit Peacock will be a financial black hole they can't afford over the next few years, and convert Peacock to being a completely free ad-supported app, i.e. their answer to Paramount's Pluto TV, Fox's Tubi, Amazon's Freevee, etc. So basically what's in Peacock's current free tier is all that would remain. The good stuff -- live sports, originals, recent Universal movies, next-day NBC shows, entire runs of popular NBC shows like The Office and 30 Rock, etc. -- all that would get licensed off to one or more of the surviving SVODs, e.g. Netflix, HBO Max/Disco+, Hulu/Disney+, etc. That way, their NBCU unit is actually a profit center for the overall company, not a cost center (or a break-even center).

My guess is that Comcast will make the decision about which way to take Peacock by the end of 2023. Because I think it's becoming increasingly clear that the middle path it's on now is unsustainable.
 
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Juan

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I really wonder what Comcast is going to end up doing with Peacock. Let's face it, Peacock was late to the SVOD party and is struggling in last place, behind Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max/Disco+, and even Paramount+. (They may well be behind Apple TV+ too, given that it operates globally, but that doesn't really matter, as Apple has the cash to grow Apple TV+ into a winner and they're gonna do it.)

Comcast is facing a scenario that, to me, looks reminiscent of what AT&T was facing a couple years ago. Comcast's core business is, obviously, broadband. It's not cable TV or direct-to-consumer streaming (Peacock) or their movie/TV production studio (Universal). But they're facing a growing threat right now and over the next several years from the rise of fixed wireless home internet (from the likes of Verizon and T-Mobile) as well as the increasing availability of superior fiber service (from AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, and various smaller players getting infrastructure funding from the federal gov't.). See here:


So on the one hand, Comcast is looking at decreased revenue growth in broadband plus the need to defend their turf by expanding their network on the edges with fiber while massively upgrading most of their cable network with DOCSIS 4.0, which will allow them to offer symmetrical gigabit+ speeds that can compete with fiber. Decreased revenue growth combined with increased costs is, uh, a challenging combination.

On the other hand, Comcast is looking at a decline in the cable TV industry as cord-cutting continues apace, which hurts expected revenues for the channels they own in their NBCUniversal unit, e.g. NBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, etc. And meanwhile, if they want Peacock to survive and scale up to be a profitable global SVOD, they're going to have to invest a LOT more money in it. It needs more and better content and marketing, while keeping the price down to be more attractive than all the bigger players that are out ahead of them. In other words, Peacock will have to be a big money-loser for the next several years.

The most obvious option, I continue to believe, would be for Comcast to approach Paramount and strike a deal to spin off NBCU, including all its studios, channels and Peacock, so that it can merge with the entirety of Paramount. The resulting "Universal Paramount" company would obviously then have to sell off either NBC or CBS as the federal gov't wouldn't allow them to own both. No big deal, Warner Bros. Discovery would probably be happy to buy either.

But if Comcast doesn't go that route, I think what they'll be forced to do is just tap out of the global SVOD race, admit Peacock will be a financial black hole they can't afford over the next few years, and convert Peacock to being a completely free ad-supported app, i.e. their answer to Paramount's Pluto TV, Fox's Tubi, Amazon's Freevee, etc. So basically what's in Peacock's current free tier is all that would remain. The good stuff -- live sports, originals, recent Universal movies, next-day NBC shows, entire runs of popular NBC shows like The Office and 30 Rock, etc. -- all that would get licensed off to one or more of the surviving SVODs, e.g. Netflix, HBO Max/Disco+, Hulu/Disney+, etc. That way, their NBCU unit is actually a profit center for the overall company, not a cost center (or a break-even center).

My guess is that Comcast will make the decision about which way to take Peacock by the end of 2023. Because I think it's becoming increasingly clear that the middle path it's on now is unsustainable.
Probably just make money
 
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NashGuy

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Probably just make money
LOL, how? That's my point, Peacock isn't a money-maker as currently structured and won't possibly be for several years.

Want it to be a money-maker now? Shut down everything except Peacock's free ad-supported tier and then license Peacock's high-value content (i.e. the stuff in the paid Premium tier) out to other SVODs, who will give you cash for it now. Want it to be a money-making global SVOD a few years down the road? Then sink a ton of cash into it now and be willing to live with years of losses until you can scale it up into a winner.
 
Y

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I can't help but notice a flaw in the Streaming media plan. Netflix was the only game in town, then came Amazon. They licensed other people's programming, and made money. Now the producers are trying to do this just with their own programming, but there might not be enough programming for it to actually work.

The thought in the corporate office was, if Netflix can do it, why not us? Because they were showing everyone's stuff.

The idea Comcast has to invest huge pots of money into Peacock to break even implies it is doomed, as that investment would need to be made up with new subs, and I just don't see anyone producing that much material. Even Disney isn't continually debuting multiple things daily.

Ultimately, I ponder this reverses through conglomeration of streaming back into an uber-Hulu. One or two companies license the material, the producers take their cut, and move on.
 
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NashGuy

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I can't help but notice a flaw in the Streaming media plan. Netflix was the only game in town, then came Amazon. They licensed other people's programming, and made money. Now the producers are trying to do this just with their own programming, but there might not be enough programming for it to actually work.

The thought in the corporate office was, if Netflix can do it, why not us? Because they were showing everyone's stuff.

The idea Comcast has to invest huge pots of money into Peacock to break even implies it is doomed, as that investment would need to be made up with new subs, and I just don't see anyone producing that much material. Even Disney isn't continually debuting multiple things daily.

Ultimately, I ponder this reverses through conglomeration of streaming back into an uber-Hulu. One or two companies license the material, the producers take their cut, and move on.
Yeah. I think about it this way. There are going to likely be three surviving global SVODs from the "new tech" side: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+. Netflix is experiencing choppy seas right now but they have a massive first-mover advantage. Amazon and Apple have other main business lines that are massively profitable which allow them to subsidize their global SVODs in ways that make sense for their overall bottom line.

There will be only 2, maximum 3, surviving global SVODs from the traditional US media side: Disney+, The Max (what I'm calling WBD's combined HBO Max and Disco+), and *maybe* something that combines NBCU's Peacock Premium along with Paramount's Paramount+, Showtime, BET+ and Noggin. And that would probably only happen if Comcast spins off NBCU so that it can merge with Paramount.

But it's certainly possible that such a deal doesn't happen and that both NBCU and Paramount end up tapping out of the global SVOD race in the next few years -- leaving each to concentrate on their broadcast and cable TV channels, their movie+TV studios, and free ad-supported streaming (e.g. Pluto TV). And, as you say, they would then license out their high-value content to other companies' SVODs (e.g. recent theatrical films, current and recent broadcast and cable series, plus new original content to be branded as "Netflix Originals," "Max Originals," etc.) rather than trying to run their own SVODs. Some stuff goes to Netflix, some to Disney+/Hulu, some to The Max, some to Prime Video, some to Apple TV+.

I don't see any reason to think that we'll go back to a situation where there are only a couple of SVODs that have pretty much all the current and recent broadcast and cable shows, as was sort of the case in the early days of Netflix and Hulu.
 
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Well, looks like Comcast is looking to sell off NBCU. Last week, news leaked of a failed deal that would have seen Comcast spin off NBCU to merge with video game giant Electronic Arts. Apparently Comcast CEO Brian Roberts's family would have been the majority owner of this new company -- I guess they were going to convert their Comcast stock into shares of this new EA/NBCU company? -- while EA's current CEO would have headed the newly merged entity.


I think Comcast is clearly feeling the pressures that I outlined above, which are motivating them to ditch NBCU. And I still think Paramount is the most likely merger partner. But such a deal would be complicated by the need for them to spin off either NBC or CBS, possibly to a third party who would buy it. Warner Bros. Discovery clearly looks like the most obvious buyer if there's anyone out there who would be interested in buying, and could arrange the financing to buy, either NBC or CBS. WBD owns a major studio, lots of major basic cable nets, the leading premium cable net, a major direct-to-consumer SVOD, plus free broadcast nets in some European countries; all they lack is a US broadcast net plus a free ad-supported streaming app that might work in tandem with it (think Fox + Tubi or NBC + the free tier of Peacock).

Here's how I could potentially see this all playing out. Comcast spins off NBCU to merge with Paramount. Current Paramount leadership -- Bakish and Redstone -- leads the newly merged Paramount Universal while either Comcast or the Roberts family has a major ownership stake in the company.

Paramount Universal would keep CBS but would sell NBC, including its sports division/rights and *some* of its news division, to WBD. Since WBD already owns CNN, they have no need for MSNBC, so that network and the parts of the NBC News operations that directly support it would remain with Paramount Universal (who would rebrand MSNBC since it would no longer have any affiliation with NBC and stopped having any connection to Microsoft years ago). WBD would integrate NBC News (home of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press, Today, and Dateline) with CNN. Paramount Universal would integrate the rebranded MSNBC with CBS News.

WBD would probably shift most, if not all, live sports from NBC to their TBS and TNT cable nets (just as Disney reserves most live sports for ESPN rather than ABC). The live sports that NBCU currently airs on cable nets like USA or streams on Peacock would also be sold to WBD, where it would appear on their TBS and TNT. (But NBCU cable nets like USA, SyFy, Bravo, etc. would still be part of Paramount Universal, not WBD.) In time, the entirety of the WBD sports line-up would live stream on HBO Max in addition to, or instead of, airing on their cable nets TBS and TNT. Some of that might happen immediately.

NBC shows would stream next-day on HBO Max and, over time, more and more of the series carried on NBC would be owned and produced by Warner rather than Paramount Universal. As a condition of the deal, perhaps Paramount Universal would share next-day streaming access to current season shows from NBC. Just as you can currently watch NBC shows next-day on either Hulu or Peacock, maybe for the first couple years after the deal closes, you could watch NBC shows next-day on either Paramount+ or HBO Max. But then, after a certain amount of time, that arrangement would sunset and HBO Max would be the exclusive place to stream NBC shows next-day.

Paramount+ would get a huge content boost, gaining all the content that Peacock currently has, except for its live sports and the news content that airs on NBC (e.g. Today, Meet the Press, Dateline), all of which would become exclusive to HBO Max. So all those new and old Universal movies, plus Peacock Originals, plus past seasons of NBCU-produced TV series (e.g. The Office, 30 Rock, etc.) would find a new exclusive home on Paramount+. Peacock would be shut down but, as part of the deal, Paramount+ would likely get some kind of preferred distribution arrangement with the newly formed Comcast/Charter joint venture streaming platform (e.g. all Comcast and Charter broadband customers get the base tier of Paramount+ at no extra cost bundled in as part of their broadband plan, with Paramount+ tightly tied into their streaming OS). We'd probably also see Paramount+ at this point cease to be sold as an add-on option inside competing apps such as Prime Video or Apple TV.

The two sides -- WBD and Paramount Universal -- would have to figure out what to do with NBC's late night shows. My guess is that the entirety of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Seth Myers would be sold to WBD as part of the deal to buy NBC. There's not a ton of value to past seasons of those shows; they're mainly watched same-day or next-day or at least not too long after they air.

But Saturday Night Live is a little different. Maybe Paramount Universal would continue to produce and own it but be tied to a long-term commitment (e.g. 10 years) to license it exclusively for broadcast on WBD's NBC, with current season streaming right's exclusive to WBD too (except for the first couple years pursuant to the next-day sharing arrangement with Paramount+ outlined above). However, all past seasons of SNL would stream exclusively on Paramount+. Or, under a second scenario, perhaps the entirety of SNL would be sold to WBD too, so it would be the only place for both current and past seasons of the show. Or, under a third scenario, maybe SNL wouldn't be included at all as part of the deal, meaning that it would completely remain with Paramount Universal and switch networks from NBC to CBS. The deals that Lorne Michaels has in place with NBCUniversal might complicate matters so much that it would be impossible to sever SNL to any degree from Paramount Universal.

Lastly, I think we'll see WBD (regardless of any possible deal to acquire NBC) launch a completely free ad-supported app, i.e. their answer to Paramount's Pluto TV and Fox's Tubi. If they owned NBC, though, we would probably see its content gradually be shared with that free app in order to increase viewership and maximize ad revenue.
 
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Juan

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Well, looks like Comcast is looking to sell off NBCU. Last week, news leaked of a failed deal that would have seen Comcast spin off NBCU to merge with video game giant Electronic Arts. Apparently Comcast CEO Brian Roberts's family would have been the majority owner of this new company -- I guess they were going to convert their Comcast stock into shares of this new EA/NBCU company? -- while EA's current CEO would have headed the newly merged entity.


I think Comcast is clearly feeling the pressures that I outlined above, which are motivating them to ditch NBCU. And I still think Paramount is the most likely merger partner. But such a deal would be complicated by the need for them to spin off either NBC or CBS, possibly to a third party who would buy it. Warner Bros. Discovery clearly looks like the most obvious buyer if there's anyone out there who would be interested in buying, and could arrange the financing to buy, either NBC or CBS. WBD owns a major studio, lots of major basic cable nets, the leading premium cable net, a major direct-to-consumer SVOD, plus free broadcast nets in some European countries; all they lack is a US broadcast net plus a free ad-supported streaming app that might work in tandem with it (think Fox + Tubi or NBC + the free tier of Peacock).

Here's how I could potentially see this all playing out. Comcast spins off NBCU to merge with Paramount. Current Paramount leadership -- Bakish and Redstone -- leads the newly merged Paramount Universal while either Comcast or the Roberts family has a major ownership stake in the company.

Paramount Universal would keep CBS but would sell NBC, including its sports division/rights and *some* of its news division, to WBD. Since WBD already owns CNN, they have no need for MSNBC, so that network and the parts of the NBC News operations that directly support it would remain with Paramount Universal (who would rebrand MSNBC since it would no longer have any affiliation with NBC and stopped having any connection to Microsoft years ago). WBD would integrate NBC News (home of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press, Today, and Dateline) with CNN. Paramount Universal would integrate the rebranded MSNBC with CBS News.

WBD would probably shift most, if not all, live sports from NBC to their TBS and TNT cable nets (just as Disney reserves most live sports for ESPN rather than ABC). The live sports that NBCU currently airs on cable nets like USA or streams on Peacock would also be sold to WBD, where it would appear on their TBS and TNT. (But NBCU cable nets like USA, SyFy, Bravo, etc. would still be part of Paramount Universal, not WBD.) In time, the entirety of the WBD sports line-up would live stream on HBO Max in addition to, or instead of, airing on their cable nets TBS and TNT. Some of that might happen immediately.

NBC shows would stream next-day on HBO Max and, over time, more and more of the series carried on NBC would be owned and produced by Warner rather than Paramount Universal. As a condition of the deal, perhaps Paramount Universal would share next-day streaming access to current season shows from NBC. Just as you can currently watch NBC shows next-day on either Hulu or Peacock, maybe for the first couple years after the deal closes, you could watch NBC shows next-day on either Paramount+ or HBO Max. But then, after a certain amount of time, that arrangement would sunset and HBO Max would be the exclusive place to stream NBC shows next-day.

Paramount+ would get a huge content boost, gaining all the content that Peacock currently has, except for its live sports and the news content that airs on NBC (e.g. Today, Meet the Press, Dateline), all of which would become exclusive to HBO Max. So all those new and old Universal movies, plus Peacock Originals, plus past seasons of NBCU-produced TV series (e.g. The Office, 30 Rock, etc.) would find a new exclusive home on Paramount+. Peacock would be shut down but, as part of the deal, Paramount+ would likely get some kind of preferred distribution arrangement with the newly formed Comcast/Charter joint venture streaming platform (e.g. all Comcast and Charter broadband customers get the base tier of Paramount+ at no extra cost bundled in as part of their broadband plan, with Paramount+ tightly tied into their streaming OS). We'd probably also see Paramount+ at this point cease to be sold as an add-on option inside competing apps such as Prime Video or Apple TV.

The two sides -- WBD and Paramount Universal -- would have to figure out what to do with NBC's late night shows. My guess is that the entirety of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Seth Myers would be sold to WBD as part of the deal to buy NBC. There's not a ton of value to past seasons of those shows; they're mainly watched same-day or next-day or at least not too long after they air.

But Saturday Night Live is a little different. Maybe Paramount Universal would continue to produce and own it but be tied to a long-term commitment (e.g. 10 years) to license it exclusively for broadcast on WBD's NBC, with current season streaming right's exclusive to WBD too (except for the first couple years pursuant to the next-day sharing arrangement with Paramount+ outlined above). However, all past seasons of SNL would stream exclusively on Paramount+. Or, under a second scenario, perhaps the entirety of SNL would be sold to WBD too, so it would be the only place for both current and past seasons of the show. Or, under a third scenario, maybe SNL wouldn't be included at all as part of the deal, meaning that it would completely remain with Paramount Universal and switch networks from NBC to CBS. The deals that Lorne Michaels has in place with NBCUniversal might complicate matters so much that it would be impossible to sever SNL to any degree from Paramount Universal.

Lastly, I think we'll see WBD (regardless of any possible deal to acquire NBC) launch a completely free ad-supported app, i.e. their answer to Paramount's Pluto TV and Fox's Tubi. If they owned NBC, though, we would probably see its content gradually be shared with that free app in order to increase viewership and maximize ad revenue.
You do know viacom owns paramount


There is no way Viacom will merge with comcast
 
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NashGuy

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You do know viacom owns paramount


There is no way Viacom will merge with comcast
Viacom no longer exists. It merged with CBS a couple years ago to form ViacomCBS, which recently rebranded itself to Paramount. And I'm not talking about Paramount merging with Comcast but rather Comcast spinning off its media division, Universal, to merge with Paramount, which has been the source of endless M&A speculation for the past few years, due in part to its small size versus the big boys it competes with. For example, Paramount has a market cap of only $21.6 billion versus Disney's $192.8 billion, Netflix's $83.3 billion and Warner Bros. Discovery's $44.4 billion. I won't even mention the sizes of Apple or Amazon, against whose direct-to-consumer video services Paramount also competes.
 
Juan

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Viacom no longer exists. It merged with CBS a couple years ago to form ViacomCBS, which recently rebranded itself to Paramount. And I'm not talking about Paramount merging with Comcast but rather Comcast spinning off its media division, Universal, to merge with Paramount, which has been the source of endless M&A speculation for the past few years, due in part to its small size versus the big boys it competes with. For example, Paramount has a market cap of only $21.6 billion versus Disney's $192.8 billion, Netflix's $83.3 billion and Warner Bros. Discovery's $44.4 billion. I won't even mention the sizes of Apple or Amazon, against whose direct-to-consumer video services Paramount also competes.
I dont think so..
Disney maybe..but they have their own issues
 
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NashGuy

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I dont think so..
Disney maybe..but they have their own issues
Nah, Disney is set. They have the necessary scale to be a winner in the global SVOD race and would stand to gain very little by purchasing Paramount. Wouldn't be a good use of cash/debt. And even if they were interested, I'm not sure the FCC and DOJ would allow them to purchase *another* sizable competitor after having swallowed up most of Fox a few years ago in that landscape-altering mega-deal. Hopefully the feds would slap that down. If we see Disney buy any additional media outlet worth mentioning, I'd say it will be the other 50% of A+E Networks that they don't already own (which is owned by Hearst). Having all that low/mid-brow content from History, Lifetime, and A&E could be a nice addition to Hulu.
 
ncted

ncted

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Nah, Disney is set. They have the necessary scale to be a winner in the global SVOD race and would stand to gain very little by purchasing Paramount. Wouldn't be a good use of cash/debt. And even if they were interested, I'm not sure the FCC and DOJ would allow them to purchase *another* sizable competitor after having swallowed up most of Fox a few years ago in that landscape-altering mega-deal. Hopefully the feds would slap that down. If we see Disney buy any additional media outlet worth mentioning, I'd say it will be the other 50% of A+E Networks that they don't already own (which is owned by Hearst). Having all that low/mid-brow content from History, Lifetime, and A&E could be a nice addition to Hulu.
I thought pretty much everyone expects Hulu to be absorbed by Disney+?
 
Bruce

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The just put all the Netflix Marvel shows on Disney+. Given the adult subject matter in those, I would have expected them to go to Hulu.
Yep, there is a scene in Jessica Jones’ 1st season, where she is with Luke Cage, I never thought it would be on D Plus.
 
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I thought pretty much everyone expects Hulu to be absorbed by Disney+?
Yes, Hulu will be absorbed by Disney+, where it will live on as the adult-focused content hub right beside Disney+'s other hubs: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. It's already this way in various international markets, except the adult content hub is branded "Star" rather than "Hulu". They'll retain the Hulu brand here in the US, though (and maybe rebrand Star to Hulu internationally) -- it's built up a lot of brand equity since its debut back in 2008.
 

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